Missing Lenses: How reading scripture with the first century church can help us find our lost identity
"Challenging, unsettling and infuriating, Dr. Holland's tour de force cannot be ignored."
- Dr Peter Head, University of Cambridge, UK.
What if we've been reading scripture the wrong way?
In the individualistic West, it is commonly assumed the Bible is about me and my relationship with God when, as many now agree, it is addressed primarily to the believing community. Written for the non-academic reader, in this updated version of his earlier book, Contours of Pauline Theology, Tom Holland makes a compelling case that in losing this emphasis, critical aspects of the community's central role in God's plan for humanity were inadvertently pushed into the background. This has caused us to not only misread key texts, but also to experience far less than what scripture promises regarding our life as a Spirit-filled people.
Holland shows how recovering the communal, Hebraic mindset of the New Testament writers and the Passover-New Exodus storyline on which they relied can help us see scripture, our life together in Christ, and our identity as individuals in an amazing new light!
Missing Lenses offers non-specialist biblical readers a concisely written, yet amazingly informative text from an evangelical, Reformed perspective concerning a major issue in New Testament Studies: the recovery of the corporate, Hebraic backdrop under-girding earliest Christian thought. Serious Bible study participants from many traditions will enjoy engaging with this volume.
- Dr Florence Morgan Gillman, University of San Diego, CA, USA
Holland's latest book is a lay-level treatment of his more academic work, Contours of Pauline Theology. Using the familiar metaphor of "lenses" through which one interprets the biblical storyline, Holland suggests that Western biblical interpreters have primarily been reading the Bible through the wrong lenses... "as describing individual experience and personal morality". It's like "looking through the wrong end of a telescope". Furthermore, these Western lenses have been shaped by Greek thought, particularly dualism, and this focus has obscured clear references to the Old Testament.
- Mark Baker, Books at a Glance
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